Project Lithium Announcement
See the project announcement press release for more information on the consortium and the project set-up.
The Satellite Applications Catapult has been leading a consortium of 10 companies with expertise in geology, mapping, Earth observation and mining to investigate the possibility of improving prospecting for Lithium using data obtained from Satellites.
Lithium is one of the most important metals in the world due to growing demand for electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries and for storage of power produced from renewable sources. Lithium consumption is therefore expected to grow rapidly over the next few decades.
This project was designed to discover if it is possible to detect a lithium ‘fingerprint’ from space by imaging vegetation and minerals on the ground using satellites. Ultimately this will reduce the costs associated with the exploration phase of lithium mining.
The approach is expected to be highly valuable for the commercialisation of lithium exploration, alongside other metals. It also develops a new capability in the satellite applications sector which is exploitable internationally.
Using a combination of datasets from multiple satellites, airborne surveys and historical maps and by looking at the geology of the areas in question, the project has produced a prospectivity map. The research was also supported by ground testing of the selected areas.
The research highlighted areas where there is a significantly increased likelihood of finding lithium brines, which can subsequently be exploited by mining.
“We are delighted to be part of this exciting project, as well as for the recognition that our project has received from Innovate UK. Lithium has significant strategic importance to the UK economy and we hope that the funding will accelerate understanding of the potential to extract lithium in Cornwall. We believe that techniques developed from this study will prove of great interest to the mining industry globally given the growing importance of Earth Observation techniques as an unobtrusive exploration tool worldwide. We look forward to taking this exciting project forward to the next stage of its development.”
Jeremy Wrathall, Founder & CEO, Cornish Lithium Ltd.